- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Howell Mountain)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage production: 421 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2006
- Drinking window: 2018-2040
About The Wine:
The incredibly rocky, rhyolitic soils of this Howell Mountain site provide fruit with structure and depth, yet the cool climate produces a wine of restraint and vibrant acidity. An underlying minerality gives the wine a particularly distinctive character and provides another layer of complexity. The appellation has become a favorite of collectors who value the ageworthy capacity of wines from this elevation.
While not generous in quantity, the vineyards yielded limited lots of excellent fruit quality. Dana's vineyards received slightly less than average rainfall but compared to the previous years of drought conditions, the vines started the growing season with ample water in the soil. The winter and spring were among the warmest on record and pushed bud-break 2-3 weeks ahead of 2013 and 2014 setting up for an early harvest. The warm dry spring led to less vine growth with shorter than average shoots.
Hershey is Dana's highest and coolest vineyard and temperatures crested 100°F only once during late July. The team started harvest for Cabernet Sauvignon on October 7th with clone 191. They returned a few days later for the SEE clone on October 11th and 12th. The fruit was fermented by native yeast in oak and concrete tanks. Two smaller lots fermented in barrels. The wine macerated on skins 30-33 days. The free run juice was drained directly to barrels for the malolactic fermentation and aging. The individual lots were blend in the spring following the harvest and then aged without racking until bottling.
Dana Estates Hershey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
"Extremely perfumed aromas of tangerines and violets with blackberries, cassis and wet earth. Full-bodied yet reserved and very precise with amazing purity of currants, blackberries and lightly burnt oranges. Superb finish of firm yet extremely polished tannins. Perfect. Hard not to drink now, but better after four to five years. Try after 2023."
100 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2019)
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hershey Vineyard melds together the aromatic intensity that is such a Howell Mountain signature with plush, dark fruit and unusually soft, polished tannins - all of which make for an utterly riveting, inviting Cabernet Sauvignon of the highest level. Inky dark fruit, lavender, mint, spice, licorice and graphite develop in the glass, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that is most compelling. This is another magnificent Cabernet from Dana. Two thousand sixteen is the first vintage in which some of the wine was aged in larger 400- and 500-liter barrels."
98+ points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Jan. 2020)
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hershey Vineyard fermented 77% in oak tanks, 16% in barrels and 7% in concrete. It spent 21 to 33 days on the skins and aged 27 months in French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple in color, it delivers very serious, classic cassis, cedar chest, pencil shavings and warm plums notes with nuances of lavender, dark chocolate, tobacco and crushed rocks with a waft of black olives. Full-bodied, the palate is solidly structured with firm, chunky tannins and bold freshness supporting the densely packed, muscular fruit, finishing long and mineral-laced."
98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Sept. 2019)